I am blessed with four sons. Four healthy perfect sons. Three have now made aliyah. The oldest two are currently serving in the IDF, and the third is waiting for his draft date. I used to say that two were no longer religious. But a rabbi whom I respect put me right. Is it up to us to define what religious is? Just because someone doesn’t lay tefillin or keep shabbat, does that make him no longer religious? Do you want to tell me that my sons are not doing God’s work? What is more religious than protecting our people, and the country given to us by God? Why do we have to put labels on people? Why does society make me need to explain?
I am proud of all of my sons. I may be the proudest mother around – any excuse and I will talk about them. I have been told that it’s not appropriate to be so proud of those no longer observant. That by being proud I am condoning their lack of observance. So, what? I should cut them out of my life because they choose to be different from me? No, that’s not who I am. That is not unconditional love.
So yes, I will mention all my children when lightly prompted (let’s face it, even when not prompted), and I won’t mention religious or observance level. If people want to judge, that’s on them. (And if people want to blame the fact that my kids went on their own derech on my lack of hair-covering, that’s just lame and shallow).